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MACC Theater Presents Spelling Bee


Moberly Area Community College will host the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on November 7, 8, & 9. The public is welcome to attend the event and encouraged brush up on their spelling skills in anticipation of participation.

This year's finalists include Olive Ostrovsky, William Barfée, Logainne SchwartzandGrubenierre, Marcy Park, Leaf Coneybear, and Charlito "Chip" Tolentino. Rona Lisa Peretti will moderate the Spelling Bee and Vice Principal Douglas Panch will act as judge. Mitch Mahoney is this year's Official Comfort Counselor as part of his community service, a condition of his recent release from incarceration.

"I just love the Spelling Bee," said moderator and top Putnam County realtor Rona Peretti. "My favorite moment has to be just before we start, when everyone is excited and the bitterness of loss hasn't quite set in yet."

This is not the first spelling event for many of the participants, including Vice Principal Panch.

"I know there was that incident about five years ago," Panch recently commented, "But I want everyone to know I'm in a better place now, thanks to a high-fiber diet."

Marcy Park, who placed ninth in the last national spelling bee, believes she is well qualified for another win.

"I know I just transferred in from Virginia and haven't competed here before, but I speak six languages and am a championship rugby player," Park explained. "I may hide in the bathroom closet every once and while, but I can handle the pressure. I was born to win."

While the previous paragraphs are fictional accounts incorporating the production's characters and humor, according to Karen Werner, MACC Associate Professor of Music, the show is built to entertain.

"This hilarious musical shows 6 top notch spellers who have real problems," Werner explained. "Although the problems are commonplace in our culture, each character presents their problem in a way that will have you rolling on the floor!"

According to MACC Theater Director Greg Pauley, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is a Tony-Award winning, Broadway musical that will relate directly to its audience.

"I think we never totally get rid of the child inside of us," Pauley said. "The show demonstrates all the emotion, both the joys and anxieties, of high-pressure situations. Our responses to these emotions all form when we're kids. We learn to be hard on ourselves, but if we're lucky, we learn to give ourselves a break every once and while."

While the show does contain adult content and may not be appropriate for all ages, Pauley says it reflects the reality of the modern society.

"We get to see elements of our own personalities in each one of these characters and that's what makes it interesting to me," Pauley explained. "There is some adult language in the play, but that mirrors our experiences as adults and helps us relate to these kids and the pressure on them to grow up. I think we ask kids to grow up a lot faster than they should, or we even had to as children just a few years ago."

Each performance begins at 7PM and the audience has the option to participate in the staged spelling bee. Tickets are $5 for adults & $3 for students. MACC student entrance is free with student ID. For more information on the MACC Theater department or upcoming events at the College, call 660.263.4100.


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